En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 29, 2011

From: Miami, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native ixora full of weeds in Miami FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Ixoras are full of weeds look like some kind of berry. Is there a way to get rid of them?

ANSWER:

We are assuming you would like a quick and easy way to get rid of the "weeds," which may be native plants, while not harming your Ixora coccinea, Jungle Geranium, in the process. Ixora is native to southern India and Sri Lanka. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow naturally. Here is an article from Floridata that has more information on the culture of Ixora.

We know that most of our correspondents want a spray that will selectively kill some plants and spare others. Unfortunately, there are really only 3 basic kinds of herbicides. A full spectrum herbicide will kill everything and melt your sidewalk, a herbicide for monocots will kill grasses and other narrow leaf plants. The third kind of herbicide kills broadleaf plants. Since the Ixora is a broadleaf plant, you don't want to use a broadleaf or dicot spray. Even trying to be careful and spray it directly on the offending weed will not work-once the spray leaves the nozzle it is free to drift where it will, with help from the wind.

The only safe way to get rid of weeds is to pull them out, and destroy the seeds before they have a chance to drop on the ground. The berries that you are seeing on the weeds are their seeds and your first priority is to cut them off and dispose of them, don't just snip them and leave them on the ground, that could lead to more of the same growing. If you can pull the whole plant out, good. If it is a woody or semi-woody plant, with a larger stem section near the ground, cut it off with heavy clippers as near to the soil as possible. Have some disposable sponge paintbrushes and a small jar of undiluted broad spectrum herbicide ready. Paint the herbicide on the cut surface of the plant root within 5 minutes before the root begins to heal over to protect itself. This will likely require several applications, and you will have to remain vigilant for suckers and seedlings appearing in other parts of your garden.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native, invasive, poisonous Chinese yam
October 16, 2005 - I found a vine in my yard [central Indiana] which I believe is Dioscorea oppositiflora and I wanted first to confirm my identification and second to find out about edibility [especially of the airborn...
view the full question and answer

Information about Lotus berthelotte, non-native plant
October 19, 2007 - I have a plant marker for a plant called LOTUS Berthlotti. I am looking for how to take care of it, but when I type the name in any search engine I get no results! the best way for me to describe th...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping large area in Webster KY
February 10, 2012 - We just bought a house that we fell in love with. The land around it . . . well it has GREAT potential but is seriously lacking at the moment. Trying to get the farm up and running leaves very litt...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native nectarine tree from Lakeway TX
December 16, 2010 - Could you describe when and how a nectarine tree should be pruned? Or, give us a resource for such information? Also, when and what type of treatment/pesticide (?) should one use on it in the Austi...
view the full question and answer

Italy in Texas
July 02, 2008 - Just want to clear up that I'm not in Italy, VERMONT. I'm in Italy, TEXAS. I don't know how the state slot changed from TX to Vermont, but please, I'm like you, lets just stick to TEXAS !
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center